The abstract, which is preceded by the title of the invention, contains a concise summary of the disclosure of the invention as contained in the description, claims and drawings .

Abstracts are loaded approximately one month after the publication date .

An abstract may be a translation into English of the abstract of a published document not originally in English.

English-language abstracts are available for all patent applications from the PCT minimum documentation and their corresponding documents dating from 1970 onwards, and in some cases even earlier than that.

Corresponding documents are chosen in the order shown below:

  • If available, the EP document in English is taken
  • If available, the US document is taken
  • If available, the GB document is taken

In March 2007, espacenet held data on 60 million patents from 81 countries. Approximately 19.5 million of these patents have an abstract in English.

Within the abstract field, you can search for one word only (eg bicycle) or up to a maximum of four.

If you enter more than one word (eg frame bicycle), only those documents will be retrieved in which all the words appear.

You do not need to type the Boolean operator AND to combine your search words as it is the default operator in this field.

You can of course use the NOT operator to exclude certain words or the OR operator to add synonyms to your search query.

You can also search for a phrase using quotation marks (eg "bicycle frame"). This will retrieve only those documents in which the exact phrase is present.

Apostrophes, slashes and hyphens cannot be used in search fields. Please use blanks (spaces) instead.

Optimum results can be obtained by searching using a combination of the IPC /ECLA and abstract fields.

For more information on patent searching, see the following pages: